Producer Lucy Fisher
Lucy Fisher was born October 2, 1949. She went to Radcliffe College and Harvard University where she majored in English and graduated cum laude.
Fisher was vice chair of Columbia and TriStar motion pictures group. She was associated with such films as "Chariots of Fire", which won the 1981 Academy Award as Best Picture, Jean-Jacques Annaud's "Quest for Fire" (also 1981) and "The Fugitive" (1993).
Fisher began her career as a script reader at United Artists before landing at Samuel Goldwyn Jr Productions as a story editor in the late 1970s. She subsequently moved to MGM where she became executive-in-charge of creative affairs then segued to 20th Century Fox where she rose to the position of vice president of production. From 1979 to 1981, Fisher served as head of worldwide production at Francis Ford Coppola's fledgling American Zoetrope, during which time the company produced "One From the Heart" (1982).
In 1981, Fisher posed in a fashion spread for Town and Country wearing an adolfo gown.
Fisher joined Warner Bros. in 1981, where she remained until 1995, rising through the ranks to the position of executive vice president, worldwide theatrical production. During this period, she worked with such directors as Steven Spielberg ("The Color Purple" 1985 and "Empire of the Sun" 1987), George Miller ("The Witches of Eastwick" 1987), Spike Lee ("Malcolm X" 1992) and Clint Eastwood ("The Bridges of Madison County" 1995).
Fisher married producer Douglas Wick in 1986. "Since I came to Sony, and Doug and I started working together for the first time, we figured we would either kill each other or renew our vows."
In 1995, Fisher became vice chair for Columbia TriStar, working with Sony Pictures Entertainment president John Calley and co-vice chair Gareth Wigan. Under the TriStar banner such hits as "My Best Friend's Wedding" and the blockbuster "Men in Black" (both 1997) were released.
Fisher plays a prominent role in the excellent 1991 book "The Devil's Candy" about the The Bonfire of the Vanities movie debacle (directed by Brian DePalma and a flop at the box office).
From the 1997 book Hit & Run: "The meeting [on Witches of Eastwick] hit a sour note with executive Lucy Fisher, who was expecting a baby at the time, told a complaining Cher, "You're lucky to have this job." Enraged, Cher balled her hand into a fist. "I almost hit her," Cher admits. "Because she was just so mean to us.... And Sue [Sarandon] grabbed my hand and said, 'She's pregnant.'" (pg. 140)
Lucy Fisher told PBS in September 2001: "I came out here after college with my college sweetheart. We went to Harvard together, and we got in our Volkswagen bus and we drove to California, and lived on people's couches in Berkeley and made our way to Los Angeles. He ended up doing scores for AFI movies. It was the very beginning of the AFI, and I tried to get a job at the L.A. County Museum....
"During that time, I ended up getting a job as a reader, the lowest-level entry job. I actually got a job working at KFWB in the newsroom from midnight to 8:00 a.m. ... between 2:00 and 5:00 in the morning, L.A. time, actually nothing would go on, and so I started to read scripts freelance. And at that point I had read... I had been to every French movie and I had read "Eraserhead," because my boyfriend was doing the score. So I had not read any regular scripts, and I got hired as a reader because I had written book jackets, so I knew how to write a little synopsis. That was my first job.
"I was heavily underqualified but a movie lover, and I found myself sort of moving up the ranks from there. Then I had every title and every job you can have, from reader, to story editor, to executive story editor, to executive of creative affairs, to director of creative, vice president, different forms of vice presidents at different studios. I worked at five or six studios. So I went a roundabout way, ended up working in the Thalberg Building three different times, at MGM, UA and for Sony, from a reader to the vice chairman in the same building. That was kind of fun.
"My first job was as a reader for United Artists and five guys ran that out of New York ... those five guys decided what movies to make, and they made them because they liked them. Period. And they didn't even watch dailies, because they bet on talent and thought, "If we respect you enough, we read the script. If we respect your work, go make a good movie, and we'll see you later." And from that point of view came "Rocky," "Annie Hall," "Cuckoo's Nest," one good movie after another, the time when I was a reader there.
"The managers now, a lot of times, are business people, and they need to be, because the amount of money changing hands is so much more extreme than it was 20, 30 years ago. There was also a camaraderie that existed that doesn't now, because the pressure of opening weekend is so strong now, that by Friday night at midnight, you already know whether the two years or the five years that you spent working on a movie were basically for naught, or whether you're going to make it through the weekend. And literally, by Friday night when the fax machine purrs and you have the numbers come through, you know whether your movie is over or not."
From the 1998 Crystal Awards: Jack Nicholson presented the Crystal Award to Columbia TriStar chairman, Lucy Fisher. Jack: "My time in Hollywood has been as muchmarked for me by the women I have known as the jobs I've had...I think with Lucy Fisher I have had the most intimate relationship of all. She has done for me what I'd unconsciously wished a woman would do for me, but despaired of ever happening. She made me a great deal of money."
Nicholson made the audience want to wish they had known Lucy Fisher better. Nicholson explained who Lucy Fisher is at her core. "This is a jazzy girl, this casually brilliant vice chairperson of Sony Pictures. The executive that no one flees at parties. The suit with legs... Lucy is the smartest, sweetest girl in class...The one who spends each Valentine's Day wondering whether everyone else in class got enough cards in their box."
Lucy Fisher quit Columbia in early 2000 to work with her husband, producer Douglas Wick. They have three daughters, including a diabetic daughter Tessa.
From Fortune magazine's 10/12/98 story on the 50 most powerful women in business: "For some of these women, finding balance comes down to trading professional power for peace of mind. Lucy Fisher (No. 35), who has three young daughters, joined Sony Pictures as vice chairman on her own terms: She works four days a week. The arrangement has caused her to pass up promotions, but it earns her praise from friends and colleagues. Says director Steven Spielberg, who has teamed with Fisher on several of his movies: "I love Lucy because she won't take my calls on Friday.""
Fisher helped establish the Warner Bros. on-site child care center.
``Once, when I was being yelled at by a psychotic director,'' Fisher said, ``I told him I was unfazed. After all, I had a real 2-year-old at home.'' (USA Today 1/9/98)
Schneider, Wolf and Troise, Pat. "The Hollywood 10 Step." Movieline Apr. 1998:76-81.